Uncomfortable silence…

Yesterday was a practice in patience. I’m the type of person who, when I’m in the car, or at home, or work, likes to be listening to something, usually it’s NPR. Well, actually it’s always NPR…I’m kind of a junkie! But, last week, at the What IF Conference, I decided that for the next few months I’m going to change some habits…and well, basically do everything different. Everything. And one of those things is to cut out the noise and all the distractions–which includes listening to the radio, and podcasts and all the information that invades my space constantly.

I do think it’s important to be informed and to listen to stories. I think it makes me a better storyteller myself. But, what I’ve realized is that lately I haven’t allowed any time for my own thoughts. I’m constantly distracted! Listening to NPR, and checking my Facebook, checking twitter, looking for photos to take with my phone so I can share what’s going on in my life via Instagram…it’s always about doing things and being active and filling my time and trying to feel busy…and I need to take a step back and say “ENOUGH!” No more distractions. No more un-necessary clutter.

portland oregon wedding photographer

(taken on the road with my iPhone…so, I guess there were a few distractions along the way!)

And so, yesterday was practice in patience. I was driving home from my week and a half trip to Portland to celebrate my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary and to go to the What IF Conference and I decided to see what it might be like to ride the entire way home in silence. Yeah…no NPR, no podcasts…no MUSIC even! I decided this is going to be the day that I was going to drive for almost 6 hours in silence. With no noise, no distractions, no listening to anything…except for my own voice and my own thoughts.

It’s uncomfortable. But I NEED to get uncomfortable.

But, I realized, that once I started sitting in the silence, all of these ideas started coming to me… crazy ones, but also good ones! I began to sing out loud and practice that part of my life that I love to do, but don’t do often enough. And I just got to relax in the silence. It was really freeing and has made me realize how much time I really do have.

It has helped me, even today, to clear my mind and I’ve been able to really be present and define what’s most important today. It’s not easy and it’s certainly uncomfortable, but practicing this kind of patience is completely necessary for me going forward.

I will be spending each morning just allowing my brain to wander while silent before starting my day officially!

Here’s to getting uncomfortable!

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